Nigeria’s Men’s basketball team, D’Tigers, face an uncertain future as the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) is struggling to secure funding for the team’s participation in the final window of the 2023 FIBA Men’s World Cup Qualifier in Luanda, Angola.
With less than 25 days until the qualifier, the NBBF is yet to receive any funds from either the Federal Ministry of Sports or its sponsors. The qualifiers are for the 2023 FIBA Men’s World Cup, which is set to take place in Japan, Indonesia, and the Philippines from August 25 to September 10.
The NBBF’s Vice President, Mr. Babatunde Ogunade, confirmed in a statement that the Federation is currently cash-strapped and unable to fund D’Tigers’ World Cup qualifier on its own. “Yes it is true,” Ogunade stated. “The final window of the qualifiers is next month and it is also true that we have a problem with funding but we are reaching out to the Government because they own the team.” However, the NBBF is also reaching out to its sponsors for support, as they understand that the government cannot fully fund sports alone.
Currently, D’Tigers are in fourth place in Group E with 10 points, behind Cote D’Ivoire, Angola, and Cape Verde. The team is expected to win all of its remaining matches, and hopes for favourable results from other teams in order to have a chance of securing one of the four tickets for Africa. Cote D’Ivoire has already secured one of the five tickets for the continent.
Despite the funding issues, Ogunade assured that the NBBF will continue to push the government and appeal to sponsors to ensure that the team can participate in the qualifier.